Today is the 100th day of war.
Today, I will be following Mark’s update on the ground yesterday, as all three main fronts (in the north-east of Kharkov, in the east of the Donbass and in the south of Kherson) have suddenly lit up.
Most importantly, after the battle retreat from Severodonetsk – the city’s exit to a significant, isolated and multi-party attack – Ukraine’s defenders unexpectedly stalled, halted Russia’s progress and possibly regained its place. Some argue that Ukraine put down trap built after the famous defeat of Russia in Grozny during the first Chechen war, when the rebels famously attracted Russian troops to the city center, before capturing and killing many of them.
I and many others have spent the last week commenting on the nonsense of defending Severodonetsk, when Ukraine may fall behind the river and maintain a more protected (and higher) line in Lysichansk. (Here is just one of these stories.) But for some reason, despite the horrific losses on the Donbass front (Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says 80-100 Ukrainians die and another 500 are injured every day), Ukraine has decided that the city is completely devoid of strategic importance. value is worth the blood.
However, the decision lacks obvious strategic value, it certainly compensates for unimaginable courage and courage. In a war that has created so many icons, such as the defenders of Azovstal, Severodonetsk may very well claim legendary status.
I think that as long as Ukraine disproportionately bleeds Russian forces, they will continue to defend and help stop Russia’s progress elsewhere. But this is not the place for the last place. Ukraine does not plan another Mariupol. At some point, the remaining guards will cross the floors of the last bridges (which Russia has left untouched because it want they defenders out), blow up the bridge, and Russia can disperse this force back to the pockets of Izyum and Popasna.
Meanwhile, NASA FIRMS satellite imagery has been illuminated around both Kherson and Kharkov as Ukrainian forces take new steps on Russia’s resource scarcity front. The images are for tracking forest fires, but it turns out to be a wonderful tool for tracking the front lines of a bloody war.
My brother took the NASA FIRMS fire data and covered it Neutan Rastermaps with yellow dots to give us an idea of what is happening on the ground.
Until a few days ago, Mark wondered whether the Ukrainian forces east of Staryi Saltiv had been withdrawn. Things had become so quiet, and there was no evidence of activity or presence. That changed yesterday as fires broke out on both sides of the Donetsk River.
Generally speaking, fires in the city indicate Ukrainian control. Russia’s only tactic is to try to flatten the artillery wherever Ukrainian troops are located before trying to occupy the rubble with its infantry. If any guard survives, I’m sorry. Cannon meat is intended for this purpose. Time to summon more artillery!
The two fires on both sides of the Staryi Saltiv bridge can easily be explained by Russia’s focus on Ukraine’s supply routes to the east coast. But the other four are all in Russian-controlled territory. Evidence shows that Ukraine is moving forward and that Russia is questioning Ukrainian troops before they have a chance to go deep and establish a defensive position.
There is a warning – you can see the road going down from Starytis to Bukhaivka before it hits the bridge on the east coast towards Staryi Saltiv. Those fires could be Ukrainian artillery shocks supply routes and convoys. When an ammunition truck crashes, it could shine bright enough for NASA to pick it up. The fog of war is thick. We know that everything is happening in a place that was quiet recently.
This also happened:
Although the map has changed slowly, fierce fighting has taken place in the region as Russia tries to push Ukraine off the border. The invaders want Kharkov to return to the artillery range, but their own Belgorod – outside Ukraine. And Russia is terrified enough of these small but steady gains that it has begun digging lines of defense in Kupyansk, Russia’s most important logistics center throughout its Northeastern war. (The upcoming entry of MLRS and HIMARS may also have something to do with it.)
Ukraine has launched a three-way counterattack north of Kherson, on the southern front of Ukraine. Like in Kharkov, Ukraine seems to be moving slowly and deliberately, lacking the strength to completely collapse Russian lines, but methodically pushing them out. Here is yesterday’s FIRMS fire site near the front line of the Davydid Brid section.
In the north-eastern quadrant of this map you can see the Ukrainians squeezing out of their bridgehead on the east bank of the Inhulets River. These fires coincide perfectly with the area that Ruser has described as disputed. Ukrainian forces are likely to be subjected to a fierce artillery attack on territory that we have seen time and time again as inhumane to anyone involved in the attack.flat, open, without lid. The same thing happens every time Russia succeeds in this area (click on this link and see for yourself). It will be difficult for Ukraine to keep up, let alone move forward, without seriously undermining Russia’s artillery capabilities.
However, there are signs that Ukraine is less interested in moving forward than in the road south of David Brida. Russian forces approaching Krivyi Rih north of here depend on this supply route. If Ukraine is able to cut this supply route, it could very well force Russia to withdraw from the north.
Moving down the map, we see fires in the Ukrainian-administered territory on the Snihurivka road (top of the map, with the arrow on the right). Strangely, the small settlement of Pavlivka is marked on the map, at the same time skipping the much larger Snihurivka (population 12,000) just to the west, on the other side of Inhulet. These fires confirm reports of Ukrainian forces moving to Snihurivka, while the fire inside Snihurivka itself is an insignificant rumor that Ukraine has gained a strong foothold in the city.
The last fire in the lower left corner is perfect for a Russian attack in outer space. It is likely that it is the Ukrainian artillery that makes life miserable for the Russians moving forward, because whatever the side, it is the story of the Kherson front.
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Unlike other MLRS, the TOS-1 thermobaric launcher has a short range. And what happens if another artillery surprises you? It happens.